Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg mentioned a Millward Brown Digital study during the social network’s fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday, and the full results of the study were released in a Facebook for Business post Friday.
The study of about 500 Facebook users during the 2013 holiday shopping period, defined as Nov. 28 through Dec. 25, examined the role of mobile generally and Facebook specifically before, during, and after shopping. Millward Brown Digital’s findings were:
BEFORE: Shoppers start with a plan but are open to discovery. While hurried shoppers often made a plan before hitting the stores, marketers had a shrinking window to make a meaningful connection. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers spent less than an hour researching their trip; they typically made a purchase within three days from the start of their research. News Feed played a key role in consumer discovery — 46 percent of people who used Facebook before shopping used it to look for deals, promotions, and holiday gift ideas.
DURING: Mobile is perceived as a hero for shoppers, and Facebook is an essential companion. At the store, 65 percent of shoppers accessed their phones for a shopping-related activity; and, while shopping in-store, those people used Facebook at four times the rate of any other application or search. Nearly 60 percent of shoppers who used Facebook for information and ideas found it to be influential to their shopping experience.
AFTER: Once the presents were wrapped, people shared their experience on Facebook. 83 percent of shoppers who follow a retailer or consumer product on Facebook found their posts to be somewhat to very valuable when preparing for holiday shopping, and when the holiday shopping was complete, 89 percent of shoppers shared their experience on Facebook.
Readers: How much did Facebook factor into your holiday shopping experiences?